Monday, January 24, 2011

Exciting things at WriteOnCon!

Hey guys!

Slight change of schedule this week. I've canceled Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (I promise I will make it up to you next week) because there's just too many exciting things going on with WriteOnCon that I NEED to update you on.

First, and foremost:

We've set the dates for our 2011 Conference!!!!!


*tosses confetti*

(Seriously guys--you have no idea how many emails it took)

Sadly, we're not ready to share them yet (we need some time to prepare an EPIC announcement) so I know that's kind of a tease. But we wanted you guys to know that wheels really are in motion around here. Exciting things are happening, and we are working very hard behind the scenes , plotting and scheming all kinds of awesome. So stay tuned. 

Also--in case you haven't heard--today (maybe even as you're reading this!!!)--we're hosting our first Live Event in 2011. And we were lucky enough to score three amazing agents willing to participate in the panel. Here's the details:

Who: Holly McGhee, Elena Mechlin, and Joan Slattery of Pippin Properties, Inc. 
When: Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 5:00 PM EST

In case you didn't notice, the event is scheduled a little earlier than you might be used to, so make sure you make a note of the time and don't miss out. The chat will go up about 15 minutes to 5:00 here on the homepage, and can also be found under the "live events / chat" tab.

Make sure you come armed with plenty of your most pressing questions about query writing and what Pippin is looking for. We'll be spending 30 minutes on each. And to help you better figure out what to ask, here's a little more info about these lovely ladies:

About Holly:
Holly McGhee founded Pippin Properties in 1998, after seven years as an Executive Editor and Associate Publisher at HarperCollins, and four years in adult trade marketing.  She still can hardly believe that she gets to work with books every day, and she firmly believes that you can learn just about everything you need to know in life from children’s books.  She is honored to have spent more than a decade representing talented authors and artists such as Kate DiCamillo, William Steig, Harry Bliss, David Small, Doreen Cronin, Kathi Appelt, and her very own sister, Alison McGhee, as well as many other amazing people.  In her personal life, Holly writes under the pen name Hallie Durand and she likes spending time with her three kids and husband, going bowling, grocery shopping, and taking care of her nineteen year old dinner-plate aurelia tree, the best plant on Earth!

About Elena:
After a few years of bopping around the publishing industry, Elena finally found the perfect position from which to pursue her love of all things children’s literature at Pippin Properties. At Pippin, she loves reading queries and loves the treasure hunt that ensues! A uniquely collaborative agency, Pippin represents publishing greats such as Kate DiCamillo, David Small, Peter H. Reynolds, Kathi Appelt, and Doreen Cronin, among many others. Elena loves funny picture books, is typically averse to rhyming texts, likes goofy middle grade, and is on the hunt for some hot YA! She spends much of her free time enjoying New York City on foot.

About Joan:
Joan Slattery joined Pippin Properties, Inc., as a literary agent in November 2010. Prior to that, she spent nearly twenty years editing fiction and picture books for Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House). As an editor, she had the pleasure of working with Philip Pullman, Jerry Spinelli, Jane Smiley, Cynthia Voigt, Adele Griffin, Shelley Pearsall, Jen Bryant, Laura McNeal, and Tom McNeal, among many others. She also holds great admiration for librarians (and their sway over the children’s book industry) and received her own Masters in Library Science while working as an editor. Joan lives with her husband and twin five-year-olds in a suburb of New York City.

You can learn more about Pippin and their fabulous clients at

So yeah. Three lovely agents. One whole hour of question time. Does it get more awesome than that?

Hard to say. But I do know we already have our February Live Event booked, and it's going to be epic as well. We're *almost* ready to announce the details for that, so make sure you check back for that.

And I get this question all the time: how do I stay up to date with WriteOnCon? 

Lots of ways. For one thing, all of the founders post major announcements on our blogs. So following us is a good idea. But we also highly recommend you follow WriteOnCon on Twitter and "Like" us on Facebook to make sure you don't miss any of the smaller stuff (and we're really making an effort to keep those updated). But, we know not all of you use those networks, or don't check them very often. So we've added a newsletter to the WriteOnCon website!!!

If you'd like to subscribe (and we definitely recommend that you do) go HERE and look for the link on the right.

Oh--and in case you missed it (and are a tech/forum savvy person)--we've also put out a call to add a new member to our WriteOnCon Committee. A Forum Community Manager. For details on the position (and how to apply) check out the post HERE.


That was a lot of updates. And as you can see, we've been VERY busy back here in the trenches. Lots of brainstorming. LOTS of emails. Lots and lots of awesome things. We promise to share them as soon as we can. In the meantime, make sure you either stop by today's live event, or catch the replay later. Sure to be a WEALTH of information to glean from it.

And, for those of you desperate for awesome middle grade book recommendations (as well you should be) 

The amazing Aly Beecher has an awesome MMGM over at her blog on TURTLE IN PARADISE by Jennifer L. Holm. Make sure you hop over THERE and check it out. 

And the ever-reliable Shannon O'Donnell always has a fabulous MMGM recommendation at her blog as well. Today she's featuring a book I ADORE, THE TAIL OF EMILY WINDSNAP, by Liz Kessler. Make sure you STOP BY

Happy Monday everyone!


  1. So excited for you and all the writers who'll be there. Like always, Mondays are really tough for me. Probably won't be able to make it. *head droops, palm slaps forehead*

    Best wishes to you all!

  2. YAY more Writeoncon! That was the highlight of my summer. A whole conference where I never had to leave my sweat pants and didn't have to worry if my kid was being loud.


  3. This is going to be For The Win. Thank goodness I get off work at 3.

  4. Even though I'm dreading having to talk to my daughter's teacher today, it means I'll get home early and get to come. Thanks for all the ways to stay in touch with WriteOnCon news.

  5. I was excited for today's WriteOnCon because I was going to be able to participate. But I just remember my 11 yo son has his ballroom dance class tonight (think a four 11 yo boys with 15 tall teenage girls), and I have to leave at that time to pick up all the kids (at two different schools) so we can drive across the city to get there. :(

    Can't wait to hear when the conference is. :D

  6. I'm so excited for this one! These ladies have worked with so many incredible authors :) I love WriteOnCon events!

  7. Dear Shannon,




    p.s. you guys ROCK

    p.p.s on the "love deb"...I swear I am not a weird fan girl stalker

    p.p.p.s No. Really, I'm not :P

  8. I'm excited for the event tonight. I'm even more excited that this time I'll be home by 5. Rare, but appreciated.

  9. Woo-hoo! This is one of the benefits of being a SAHM. There's no way I am missing this. NO. WAY.

  10. Perfect timing, ya know. I usually can't be online at 5, but I've got nothing to do today :)
    Can't wait for this evening!

  11. Won't be able to make it, but I'm sure it will be great.

  12. that's lots of news! Woo! Exciting! Can't wait till next Monday for marvelous middle grade

  13. Really excited about this!!! Thank you!

  14. Woo! Can't wait to hear the dates, I'm going to book time off work to come.

  15. Whoops, that was me, wrong google account!


Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Any arguing or intense debate--on any subject will be removed. Let's keep this a safe, fun space.